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Community (American Garage)

--- Apr 29 2001 Go to category
Subject: Feedback
Category: Guitars
From: Nils Hornslien (Norway)

I have norwegian made Hagström Hollow body guitar who sounds very nice, but I have serious problems with feedback. Some notes are screaming at once when I depress the the strings against the frets. Do you have the same problem with any/all of your hollow bodies? Do you have any suggestions on how to handle the problem? Don't you have problems with feedback when you have two speakers in front of you?

Pat’s Answer:

hi nils,

because i have played a hollow body instrument really from the beginning, feedback has always been an issue for me too. in my case, and i don't know if this is good or bad, i have always kept the wrist on my right hand right on the place where the strings meet the bridge to act as a dampener and to prevent feedback. the reason i say that i am not sure if that is a good thing is that that is a large reason why i pick the way i do, which i have been told is fairly unorthodox (and i have to admit when i see videos of it, it doesn't really look that efficient). but the good part is, no feedback - or if feedback seems to be starting, i can stop it and keep playing. there are new eq's out there that are really good at reducing, if not eliminating feedback - some of them automatically. you could check those out. also, in extreme cases, like when i was playing the classical fretless on the last tour at a very high volume, i have been known to stuff the entire guitar with foam rubber - essentially making it a solidbody. i really try to avoid this - but it does work.

it also sounds to me from the way you describe it that your basic eq setup as it is now may be unnaturally biased in the area of the feedback. i always try, when playing on a foreign amp, to get a pretty "flat" eq thing from the start to eliminate those hot spots. this is usually done by turning either (or all of) the treble, middle or bass controls on the amp down. good luck!

best from pat